Fr. John Edward Wessling
Father Jack Wessling passed away from COVID-19 on February 15. Fr. Jack was born November 23, 1931 in Newport, Ky. to Lawrence Wessling and Elizabeth Henley Wessling. He attended St. Anthony School in Bellevue, Ky., St. Matthew's in Norwood, and Purcell High School. After graduating from high school, Jack attended St. Gregory and Mt. St. Mary's Seminaries and was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati on August 15, 1958. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Joseph, sister-in-law, Adelaide Lense Wessling, and brother-in-law, William Bellman. He is survived by his sister, Ceal Bellman, and his nieces and nephews: John (Teresa) Wessling, Susan (Peter) Schreiber, Bill (Theresa) Bellman, Steve, Mike, Greg, Danny (Margo) Bellman, Laura (Thane) Lorbach, 19 great nieces and nephews and one great-great niece.
After his ordination, Jack pursued Doctoral studies in Switzerland. While in Europe he made lifelong friends with artist Karl Wieser in Salzburg, Austria--the families of the two have become friends, traveling between the US and Austria over the years. Upon his return, Jack followed his passion for teaching. During his teaching career he taught at Purcell High School, St. Gregory and Mt. St. Mary's Seminaries, and Chatfield College. However, most of his career was spent teaching philosophy at Ursuline Academy. He became a beloved member of the Ursuline community, supporting both sports and the arts--and even participating in the annual fashion show. His long-lasting relationships with students kept his calendar full of celebrations of matrimony and baptism. Jack's liturgies were truly joyous.
Jack was grateful to the people of the parishes he served. He was pastor of St. Michael's in Sharonville and Our Lady of Visitation in Mack, Ohio. He also served at St. Mary's (Oxford), Holy Angels, St. Peter and Paul (Norwood), Our Lady of Perpetual Help, St John's (Westchester), St. Columbkille (Wilmington), and Community of the Good Shepherd.
Jack was very generous to his family and friends. He had a wonderful sense of humor, loved sports, the outdoors, the arts, movies, and his students. He frequently took his nieces and nephews to movies and dinners, and shared his own versions of classic stories, such as "Little Red Riding Wolf" and his version of Jaws, where the lonely shark was only misunderstood.
In honor of Jack, please toast him with a before dinner drink. And remember--"a before dinner drink loses its nature once dinner begins."
Donations can be made to the Fr. Jack Wessling Memorial Assistance Fund or the Father Jack Wessling Endowed Scholarship at Ursuline Academy: www.ursulineacademy.org/wessling
. Donations can also be made to the charity of your choice
Jack donated his body to science. A memorial mass will be planned in the future when it is safe for all to gather.